Talented pupils in the area to look out for in the future

Bethany School's Casper Round and his 'Octocopter', which he uses to take aerial footage

Bethany School's Casper Round and his 'Octocopter', which he uses to take aerial footage - Credit: Various

From the spring 2014 edition of A+ education - once again, we meet three talented youngsters from across the area, each achieving impressive things in their respective fields…

Epsom College student Benjamin Woollams has captained the first XV rugby team to an unbeaten season

Epsom College student Benjamin Woollams has captained the first XV rugby team to an unbeaten season - Credit: Various

The rugby player…

Name: Benjamin Woollams

School: Epsom College, College Road, Epsom, Surrey KT17 4JQ. Tel: 01372 821000 / epsomcollege.org/home

Age: 18

Hometown: Epsom, Surrey

Summary of achievements: The captain of Epsom College Rugby first XV, Benjamin has represented Harlequins at an under-18 level as well as representing his county for rugby. He was also featured in Rugby World Magazine.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Most Read

I am currently in my final year studying English, maths and economics at Epsom College. As well as academics, I am particularly fascinated by rugby. Rugby for me is unique. I have represented my county and Harlequins at academy levels, but for me my biggest honour was captaining the first XV at my school to an unbeaten season. Rugby has taken me to France, South Africa, Australia and Singapore to name but a few; I count myself as being extremely lucky to have had these sorts of privileges in my life.

What is it that inspires you?

There are obviously figures who people strive to become or be, but I don’t strive to become someone else; someone I’m not. I wish to follow my own dreams, and become my own person. My friends and family inspire me the most. They keep me on track and encourage me to fulfil my full potential; for that, I am forever grateful. With regards to rugby, my inspiration are the players and coaches within my team; nothing is quite like it, playing on a pitch with your best mates, knowing that every one of them is as dedicated to the cause as you are and are willing to put their necks on the line for one another. That kind of dedication can’t get taught in my eyes.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I like to keep my options open. With regards to rugby, that is still much undetermined as to whether I will take that any further. I would enjoy the lifestyle extremely, but I can’t be sure that I would even make it. If not, I’m particularly interested by finance and economics, and would therefore welcome a career in investment.

How do you like to relax in your spare time?

Most of my time is normally spent taken up with commitments to school. However, to relax, I do enjoy spending time with friends and family. I also find that going to the gym or going for a run can be great for relieving stress and relaxing.

What would be your top tip for other pupils hoping to follow a similar path?

For me, there is one thing in life that leads to success and that’s having a vision. If you know where you want to be and how you’re going to get there, there is no doubt in my mind that someone can make it there. Goals are too easy; some people don’t reach them and then disregard them. A vision is something that someone literally can’t see their lives without.


The dancer…

Name: Joeley Gibson

School: Bede’s Prep School, Duke’s Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN20 7XL. Tel: 01323 734222 / bedes.org

Age: 12

Hometown: Lewes, East Sussex

Summary of achievements: Not only was Joeley awarded a Legat Dance Scholarship, she has also danced with the London Children’s Ballet three times and with the National Youth Ballet and English Youth Ballet. She achieved distinctions in all her RAD ballet examinations.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I lived in London up until two years ago when we moved to Lewes after I won a Legat Dance Scholarship to Bede’s Prep School. It has been a big change for me and my family but we have settled into our new life here. I started dancing very young and it is tough but I really love it. Performing on stage is magical.

What is it that inspires you?

All dancers who have made it to a professional company inspire me. I think it is unfair to pick a few! Watching and experiencing the ballet world just makes me love the art more.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I hope to be dancing full-time with a professional dance company, preferably here in the UK. If I do not become a dancer, I hope to be involved in the performing arts – acting, singing or musical theatre.

How do you like to relax in your spare time?

In my spare time (on the rare occasion when I manage to find some between studying, rehearsing, school life and dance classes!), I enjoy snoozing, eating, watching TV and listening to music. All these things help me relax. I also have to stretch and do Pilates etc to keep strong and flexible.

What would be your top tip for other pupils hoping to follow a similar path?

Anyone whose ambition is to become a dancer, and is really serious about it, should keep calm, remember to have fun, try your hardest and love every second of it.


The inventor…

Name: Casper Round

School: Bethany School, Curtisden Green, Goudhurst, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 1LBT. Tel: 01580 211273 / bethanyschool.org.uk

Age: 16

Hometown: Staplehurst, Kent

Summary of achievements: As well as being awarded a scholarship at his school for design and technology, Casper was a STEM Finalist (the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) at the Birmingham NEC in March 2014. He has also designed and made a full-size Dalek.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I have been interested in electronics since the age of seven. I have always loved making and inventing and was awarded a scholarship at my school for design and technology. My favourite subjects are physics and design and technology. Some of the things I have made are a CNC router machine, an electric go-kart and a full-size Dalek. When I was nine years old, I wired up my shed and rigged it with lighting and mains power.

Also, with my ‘Octocopter’, I shot some aerial photography footage for a few scenes in the television series Da Vinci’s Demons, which will be shown this year.

What is it that inspires you?

Coming up with original ideas to solve a problem or create new things. I love the challenge of improving my design and perfecting it to the best of my ability – this usually involves many prototypes, patience and hard work.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years time, I see myself working for a large organisation where I could be designing websites, working in IT or creating music as I have played the piano from a very young age. Or perhaps I could be designing mechanical, electrical or robotic machines.

How do you like to relax in your spare time?

I play the piano and compose music or sometimes relax on the sofa watching my favourite programmes.

What would be your top tip for other pupils hoping to follow a similar path?

Being prepared to fix things such as computers or any other electrical device and then selling them for a profit on eBay to fund your next project. Also, I highly recommend the electrical engineering courses run by the Smallpeice Trust. I went on one last year at Portsmouth University and I got a lot out of it. Finally, if something doesn’t work, try to think of another way around it.

Comments powered by Disqus